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2 West Humboldt Park Developments Would Bring 100 Apartments, Grocery Store And More To Chicago Avenue

The developments aim to revitalize West Chicago Avenue by bringing in new housing and businesses.

The Ave. development at 3601-25 W Chicago Ave.
© Gensler
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WEST HUMBOLDT PARK — Developers shared details on two proposed developments along Chicago Avenue this week, part of the city’s broader initiative to revitalize the West Side commercial corridor.

A.J. Patton, CEO of 548 Development, presented plans for a mixed-use grocery store and residential building at 3831 W. Chicago Ave. at a virtual community meeting Wednesday night.

The $30 million development would include 60 apartments, a Manny’s Grocery, an arts center and community room. Patton purchased the building on his own, but told the Sun-Times he’s asking city officials for $8 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) dollars and a parcel of city-owned land to complete the project.

“Though it’s still preliminary, the proposal is proof of concept that INVEST South/West is successfully fostering market activity and attracting private investment,” said Peter Strazzabosco, deputy commissioner for the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

Officials also shared plans for The Ave., a $25 million KMW development at 3601-25 W. Chicago Ave. announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot last November. The project would include 44 apartments, a rooftop garden, gym, restaurant, a child care facility and office space for Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

Credit: Lamar Johnson Collaborative
3831 W Chicago Ave.

Business owners, community leaders and residents at Wednesday’s meeting said they hoped the new developments would bring attractive affordable housing and retail space to the area, bringing businesses that have a positive impact on children who have seen their neighborhood rocked by gun violence in recent years.

“I’m excited about the grocery store options. I’m tired of seeing the gas station bags coming through here. So I’m excited to see that our students have an opportunity of being exposed to healthier options before school and after school,” said Chantel Johnson, dean of culture at Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy. “My main concern goes back to the safety of our youth on Chicago Avenue, in line to your Monticello [Avenue] and Humboldt Park area and as a whole of what they’re exposed to on a daily basis. So hopefully this changes everyone’s outlook.”

Ellen Moiani, senior manager of community affairs at Noble Network of Charter Schools, agreed.

“We’re really, really hoping this creates a positive space for our kids as they’re walking to and from school,” she said. “The number one concern for our students is safety all the time. So I’m hoping that this positive thing will move towards positive actions that the kids can witness, observe and be a part of and go where if your support is needed.”

Credit: Lamar Johnson Collaborative
3831 W Chicago Ave.

3831 W. Chicago Ave.

If approved, the 3831 W. Chicago Ave. development would become Chicago’s largest of “passive housing,” a building standard that emphasizes energy efficiency, Patton said. The design would take advantage of a solar rooftop and other energy-saving updates to cut the building’s utility costs by half, he said.

Patton’s team, led by architect Leslie Roth of the Lamar Johnson Collaborative, said the building’s stringent environmental standards would benefit children and families. Roth said that the project would achieve an Enterprise Green Communities Plus certification, which would promote energy efficiency in the design of each unit from air quality to temperature regulation.

548 Development purchased the vacant buildings in the middle of the block, which will be combined with the city land on either corner, Strazzabosco said. The proposed land sale, potential tax-increment financing (TIF) for the project and the development’s zoning would be voted on by the Community Development Commission, Chicago Plan Commission and City Council later this year.

Unlike other INVEST South/West projects, 3831 Chicago isn’t the result of a formal request for proposal since Patton purchased the building outright. The city plans to solicit alternative bids for the land it owns before selling it to 548 Development, Strazzabosco said. 

Credit: © Gensler
The Ave. development at 3601-25 W Chicago Ave. / © Gensler

The Ave.

East of the Patton project is The Ave., a five-story, mixed-use development with a restaurant and child care located at the southwest corner of Chicago and Central Park avenues. The project was designed by Gensler Chicago.

Bill Williams, founder of the real estate developer KMW, said the development will change the entire feel of West Chicago Avenue.

“We hope that we will create a positive loitering to outnumber the negative loitering,” Williams said. “That culture dictates the behavior and hopefully that is the end goal. We’re going to create loitering, but the other kind of loitering, the kind that leaves money behind.”

Credit: © Gensler
The Ave. development at 3601-25 W Chicago Ave./© Gensler
Credit: © Gensler
The Ave. development at 3601-25 W Chicago Ave./© Gensler

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